Jury selection starts in Michael Jackson doctor trial

Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:17pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor is expected to last about two months, a judge said on Thursday, as jury selection started in the case focusing on the "Thriller" singer's final hours.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said that with opening arguments in Dr. Conrad Murray's trial set for May 9, the target date for completing the trial is July 1.

Murray was the personal doctor of the "King of Pop" and was at the singer's Los Angeles house when he died in June 2009. He is accused of giving Jackson a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid.

Murray has pleaded not guilty and his attorneys are expected to argue that Jackson administered the drug to himself.

Pastor and attorneys on both sides need to find 12 jurors from the 160 people summoned to court on Thursday and given a 27-page questionnaire. The questions on the form have not been released.

The judge aims to narrow that group down to less than 100 by May 4, when attorneys will question them in open court.

Murray appeared in court on Thursday, dressed in a black suit and colorful striped tie.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)